Last update: 07-Dec-2013 3:12 am
Saturday, December 07, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
You are here
Jack on local elections loss: We stooped too low
Interim leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) Jack Warner has admitted that he’s paying a heavy price for spewing gutter politics, getting into a dog fight and playing tit-for-tat with the United National Congress (UNC) leading up to the October 21 local government elections. He believes this has led to the party’s defeat at the polls. Warner said the party’s actions, however, worked against them in last Monday’s elections, where they were toppled in all 14 corporations it had contested.
Though Warner confessed to being disappointed by the results, he said he was now learning from his mistakes and intended to take a different approach for the St Joseph by-election on November 4. Having viewed where the party went wrong, Warner said preliminary analysis showed the ILP’s candidates had fallen short by failing to bond with its voters. Also, there was little time to train its slate on how to canvass and campaign.
In hindsight, Warner said, the ILP did not concentrate on specific corporations, such as Tunapuna, Chaguanas and Sangre Grande where they should have won. He said the ILP’s membership made a lot of demands on the party, urging them to contest all the seats. “There were some areas that we would have never won. I should have known that,” Warner admitted to the Sunday Guardian at the office of his Sunshine Newspaper in Arouca on Thursday.
But the biggest mistake the ILP made, Warner said, was to concentrate on bitterness and acrimony and failing to look at the bigger picture—the PNM. “What we did was try to match the UNC with their tit-for-tat, and in doing so, we disregarded too much the PNM, and we paid a price.” He said his party had stooped to a low level on the platform “where it was a dog fight between the ILP and UNC.” They had failed to articulate issues to the benefit of voters.
Warner said while the UNC’s campaign was full of mudslinging, the ILP did not stick to what they had originally promised—to keep their campaign clean. “At times, I, more than anybody else, lose my cool too easily and went down to the gutter to match them. That did not help us in retrospect.” Warner said the dirty politics did not augur well for the party and the young people. “I am not trying to make excuses, but these areas were overlooked.”
In the coming days, Warner said, the ILP will conduct a post-mortem to gauge where they went wrong. However, he said, the ILP still had a lot to be thankful for. “We had lofty hopes and ideals, many of which were not realised for all kinds of reasons.” With this new approach, Warner could not say if its by-election candidate Om Lalla could bring home victory, even though an independent poll done by the party showed that they have the best candidate. “One could never be confident at an election campaign, never!”
And even if the ILP does not win, Warner said they would have given it their best shot.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.